News

A picture of lights on a police car.
Alejandro Mejía Greene/JubiloHaku / Flickr Creative Commons

Five former detention officers and a nurse at a North Carolina jail have been charged with involuntary manslaughter after a man died last December, a district attorney said Wednesday.

Sign on college campus reading 'International Student Programs' with an arrow pointing to the left. Street with cars in the background.
Bellevue College//Flickr//CC

U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement has issued a new temporary rule banning international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if their colleges move to online-only instruction this fall.

Tahir Siddeeq

If a drug proven to reduce coronavirus transmission by 50% to 85% existed, would you take it? Masks offer that kind of protection for public health, and yet people still go out in public without them. Why is that?

Bowling
https://bit.ly/38BZy3X / LibraryatNight via Creative Commons

A state judge has ruled that dozens of bowling alleys can reopen in North Carolina, provided they adhere to capacity limits and rules for sanitation and face coverings.

After months of socially distant play dates, remote learning and unplanned Fortnite marathons, families have done their very best to find a “new normal” during the pandemic. Throughout all the stress and uncertainty, families are staying resilient, creative and connected.

We talk with Dr. Christine Murray, director of the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships at UNC-Greensboro, about shifting family dynamics and how households have adjusted to different routines in quarantine.

StoryCorps

Join WUNC on July 27 at 7:00 PM to learn about StoryCorps’ new project, the Military Voices Initiative. We'll learn about the StoryCorps process, hear past stories from North Carolinians, and celebrate the many ways that stories bring people together during difficult times. 

Since 2003, StoryCorps has given a quarter of a million Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, to pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and to leave a legacy for the future.

NCDCR, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wikimedia

This story was updated at 10:16 a.m. on July 8, 2020.

While the Confederacy lasted just a bit longer than four years, its memory has lived on for lifetimes in the form of historical markers, the names of streets, counties and towns, its flag and monuments.

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force are scheduled to hold a media briefing on COVID-19. Watch live here starting at 2 p.m.

In a sweet tea-colored swamp in Bladen County, North Carolina there is a group of trees that has intrigued researchers for decades.

Scientists knew the bald cypress trees that sprouted up from the Black River were old, and a new study reveals a number of the trees date back millennia. One tree is at least 2,624 years old.

The bald cypress' remarkable age reveal information about climate history in the region, including whether the people who lived in the area experienced significant droughts.

Jamea Richmond-Edwards / Courtesy of E. Patrick Johnson

Writer E. Patrick Johnson was hesitant to collect the stories of queer black Southern women. He is a cisgender gay black man, and the divide between the male and female experience was something he felt he could not portray on the page. But after being encouraged by women who wanted their experiences known and shared, he found a way to spotlight their voices.

Courtesy of Kamal Bell

Sankofa Farms was originally supposed to be a school garden in which middle school students could get away from the pressures of the classroom and get their hands dirty in the soil. After the proposal was rejected by the school’s principal, middle-school science teacher Kamal Bell made a much bigger investment in the idea.

Black and white photograph of two members of the US military in uniform with text that reads "Military Voices StoryCorps"
StoryCorps

StoryCorps is planning its first ever virtual visit to WUNC this summer. The Military Voices Initiative will "virtually visit" the station to facilitate approximately 50 recording sessions from July 27-August 7. This project provides a platform for veterans, service members, and their families to preserve their stories at the Library of Congress (at no cost to the participants).

If you would like to participate in the project, please sign-up here.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper sits for an interview with WUNC in the Executive Mansion in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Cooper addressed the opiod crisis affecting the state.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed a broad health measure late Monday because it contains a provision that addresses the confidentiality of death investigation records. Opposition to the item has served as a rallying cry for demonstrators for racial justice outside the Executive Mansion for days.

Charlie Riedel / AP Photo

The governing board of North Carolina's largest county by population voted on Monday to make Juneteenth a paid county holiday for its workers.

Lyndsey Gilpin

Dominion Energy and Duke Energy announced the cancellation of the controversial 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline Sunday. 

Dorrance dancing.
Courtesy of Michelle Dorrance

Between the COVID-19 pandemic and this summer’s social protest movement, 2020 has been challenging for the live performer. Michelle Dorrance is a world-renowned tap dancer who is using this time of cancellations and remote performances to contemplate new ways to use her art to incite and inspire. 

File photo of construction workers at a work site.
astrid westvang / Flickr, https://flic.kr/p/63KaFK

Juan José Mejia Guillén is considered an essential worker in North Carolina. He runs a small construction company, Olive and Sage Custom Building, LLC. With nearly 15 years of experience, the master carpenter is confident about his work.

Wake County Seal
City of Raleigh/Flickr / https://bit.ly/2ZGGH3x

A North Carolina county's board of commissioners will vote Monday to make Juneteenth a county holiday, and to declare racism as a public health crisis.

A protest sign against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on Francine Stephenson's property in Johnston County.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

The developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced Sunday that they are canceling the multi-state natural gas project, citing delays and increasing cost uncertainty.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest speaks to members of the media during a news conference in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, June 29, 2020. Forest plans to sue Gov. Roy Cooper over alleged violations of the state Emergency Management Act during the coronavirus pa
Gerry Broome / AP

President Donald Trump has endorsed the Republican who is aiming to deny Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper another term.

Confederate monuments, memorials, and names on buildings are coming down across the South. In the last month, many of the region's long standing symbols have been stripped, from the Mississippi state flag to a statue of Stonewall Jackson in Richmond, Virginia.

Host Leoneda Inge visits the city of Quincy, Florida, after officials swiftly removed their Confederate landmark, and she speaks with Mitch Colvin, mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina, about recent protests against the legacy of Confederate symbolism in his city. Leoneda also reflects on the significance of recent changes to capitalize “Black” in newsrooms.

Our thanks to WRAL for supplying some of this episode's audio.

 


Cars at a drive-in movie
Cpl. Ali Azimi

Social distancing guidelines are pushing many social interactions outdoors — so why not the movies? Drive-in theaters had their heyday in the 1950s and ‘60s, with showings of family classics, kitschy horror films, sci-fi wonders and — ahem — “adults-only” flicks. The coronavirus pandemic has sparked a resurgence of interest in the iconic activity. 
 

A masked woman looks out her window.
Victoria Bouloubasis for Enlace Latino NC/Southerly

According to a recent poll from Elon University, Governor Roy Cooper has way more support among Democrats for his mandate to wear masks in public.

Ninety-one percent of Democrats who responded to the survey -- versus 57% of Republicans -- support such a policy. But the poll results are less clear when it comes to reopening schools this fall.

This Week In State Politics: the Governor delayed a decision about whether public schools would open in the fall.

As Democrat Roy Cooper said he needed more time, he was also served with a lawsuit. His political opponent, Republican Dan Forest, contends that the Governor is implementing too much unilateral authority.

And with lawmakers away for a little while, news trickled out of the General Assembly that a lobbyist tested positive for COVID-19. Rob Schofield and Becki Gray discuss those stories, as well as their fireworks plans for this weekend.


Mayor Steve Schewel stands for a portrait inside Durham City Hall.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

The new fiscal year started this week, a time when local governments implement the new budgets they spent months working on over the spring.

In the city of Durham, that budget has been the subject of a protest for several weeks now. In particular, demonstrators object to a 5% increase in funding for the city’s police department, which is getting more than $70 million over the next year.

Album cover for Libby Rodenbough's 'Spectacle Of Love'
Sleepy Cat Records

Libby Rodenbough is taking a break from the indie Americana band Mipso to release her debut solo album Spectacle of Love. The Durham-based musician is expanding her musical pallet with contributions that include electric piano, synthesizers and even bass clarinet.  The songs are mysterious and beautiful with echoes of artists from Rickie Lee Jones, to Andrew Bird, to Gillian Welch.

Two people walk dogs at a mostly empty Dix Park in Raleigh
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Another two dozen bills were signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper, including one with money to help build a long-planned park to honor the contributions of African Americans in North Carolina.

Ben McKeown / AP

Joanne P. McCallie won’t return for a 14th season as Duke’s women’s basketball coach.

Illustration of a calculator and exam answers sheet.
WikiHow Images

School board meetings are buzzing with suggestions of segmented days, converted spaces, private-public partnerships and other ideas for a managed reopening of public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A masked woman looks out her window.
Victoria Bouloubasis for Enlace Latino NC/Southerly

North Carolina’s COVID-19 cases continue to climb, and the state’s Black and Latino populations are being hit the hardest. Black citizens comprise about 22% of the state’s population, but they account for a third of deaths. And nearly half of the people who have tested positive identify as Hispanic, even though the group makes up less than 10% of the state’s population. 

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